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The Great British Sewing Bee

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The top five sewers compete. The pattern challenge has them making a 1930s blouse with a 1930s sewing machine. The reconstruction challenge requires the sewers to repurpose a man's suit. The made to measure challenge has them making vintage coats.

I'm not a sewer (but my mom and some of my friends are great sewers) so I can't imagine trying to sew something on an 80 year old machine! Interesting to see that half of the sewers had experience with the old ones. When Heather said she used one back in school, it reminded me of when I took a typing class in middle school and they had manual (non-electric) typewriters and we all longed for electric typewriters.

I loved that Lynda explained how to create a placket to both Tamara and Chinelo. I know I always compare this show to Project Runway, but it's because I used to love PR and I feel like the focus has gone from design and construction to finding contestants who will cause drama. I love that the sewers on The Great British Sewing Bee want to win but still don't hesitate to help each other.

Hee, I loved Lynda telling herself to calm down because it's only a blouse. She seems to have a good attitude. Once again, I loved the judges explaining to the camera exactly what the sewers need to do and what will happen if they don't (like gathering only between the points on the pattern). And I like that when something is done incorrectly, they don't just point out the flaw but they explain why, like Dave's collar. We can see that it's popping up, but as a non-sewer, I have no idea why, so I'm glad that the judges explained it was because the seam on the inside was too tight.

As an American, the British judging is hilarious to me. They are so nice, even when they're being critical. Instead of saying something is bad, they say it's not good. "The level of finish is not terrific, I'm afraid." "I think we've seen you do better work and we'll just leave it at that."

I felt bad that everyone had to bundle up to have coffee outside. It must have been so cold!

The 1930s blouse they made was adorable. I loved the navy and white polka dot fabric that David chose. Heather's blouse looked beautiful. She deserved to win this challenge. I always wonder how the judges prefer a finished product that isn't done as well or an unfinished product with better technique. This week, they chose the latter. Poor David was in last even though he finished and Lynda squeaked past him even though her top still had pins in it. Her cheekiness with Patrick continues to amuse me. Love their attitudes about finishing so low. David refused to blame the equipment because he knew it was his performance. Lynda said she talks too much and messes around too much (which is true, but it hasn't been as much of a problem in the past as she often finishes before everyone else). Chinelo looked really miffed that she came in second even though they pointed out the problem with her collar.

Loved the make do and mend challenge - practical and fit with this week's theme. The judges specified that the finished item had to be a women's article of clothing. I wonder if that's a result of some of the sewers making child sized garments for the repurposing challenge in past weeks. I liked that they couldn't use extra fabric or trim from the habberdashery this time. Interesting to watch the different approaches (Chinelo taking the entire suit apart first vs Tamara deciding what to make and then only using the jacket).

Glad the judges could see where the parts of Chinelo's dress came from. It fit the mannequin well and looked very flattering. Heather's top looked a little too loose/sloppy in the front but I liked the back. When David said he might make his top into a dress, I laughed because it reminded me of Paris Hilton wearing dresses that I think should be shirts. Lynda's pinafore was simple but I liked how she used only the pants for everything but the straps. Tamara's looked interesting but it had too much going on for my taste. Heh, I didn't know "jacketness" was a word.

I love coats so I was excited about this challenge. Interesting that the judges let the sewers bring their fabric precut. Sweet to see Lynda tear up about her mom. I was worried about David as soon as he said he was making a police coat. The sketch looked like the design would require perfect tailoring and show any imperfection. I felt bad that the fabric he bought over the phone was so thick. Interesting to see Tamara stick to 60s methods while Chinelo used fusable interfacing.

I liked Lynda's coat in theory and it looked well sewn, but it looked better in the sketch. David's buttons were a bit crooked to my eye which was distracting. Loved Tamara's yellow coat. When I first saw the fabric I wasn't sure about it, but it was perfect for the 60s princess seamed coat she made. Great that she covered the buttons with her silk lining! Heather's swing coat was like Lynda's for me - good in theory but I didn't love it. Loved the pattern Chinelo chose (great shape, great fabric drape, great fit) but the hem was really obviously uneven.

So sweet to see everyone with their arms around each other during judging. It was time for David to go. I'll be interested to see who is eliminated next week.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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I enjoy that this show is a measure of current aptitude, not just some estimated potential.

Yes, this is one of my favorite aspects of the show. I hate when the Project Runway judges justify keeping a designer by saying, "I still want to see what they'll do next week." I prefer the GBSB judges using only what I sewers did this week. I like that they don't even take into account what the sewers have done in previous challenges. It seems fairer.

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I am 100% fine with David going because he was the weakest sewer left, however, he was a lot of fun and I will miss him.   

I didn't personally love the line of Lynda's coat but she was the only one with a completely finished garment and it was a nice touching memory for her with her mum, so I'm glad she got the garment of the week.   

I hope she gets through to the final because while I think Chinelo should probably win, Lynda is the one with the most personality.   She cracks me up and a final without her would be less fun.   Plus she really is a very sold sewer, probably my second favorite in the competition, I think they like Tamara more than I do.  I can appreciate her garments have a great number of techniques, but her things are usually too busy for my taste. 

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I am absolutely gutted by the result.  

I think it was the right person based on what was sewn this week.   Lynda just had a terrible, terrible, terrible last round.   And her sleeves were pretty terrible, as well.   But I would have been fine with letting Heather go because she didn't show much ambition with that final garment.     

I loved the idea of the blind judging in the second round this season.  However, at this point the judges must know who has sewn what.   

Not that I think it matters.  Given the variety of winners of each round we've had? They really judge based on the quality of the garments.  I've disagreed with some placements, but I've never thought they really judged anything crazy.   

I can't wait for next week, but I will really, really miss it after that.  
 

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Given that Chinelo was created so many items without a pattern this season, I thought she would excel at the first challenge and found myself really disappointed. I hated the weird bubble in the middle of that long dress. It seems like it would not be flattering on anyone. To be honest, it looked like she was in the middle of doing something and they called time. Lynda was smart to choose a simple silhouette. Her dress looked clean and finished. I didn't like all the tucks that Tamara used on the waist. It made the dress look lumpy. Heather's dress looked pretty good. The draped neckline is a good call when you're doing a draped dress without a pattern. Her draped neckline looked much better than Tamara's (which looked a bit messy).

Chinelo has begun to sound a bit cocky to me in the last few weeks. This week when she said she never does a regular set in sleeve, I started thinking okay, enough already, you're a special snowflake, I get it!

I didn't like Lynda's sleeves. The crookedness aside, I didn't like the color (the brown was a little too similar to the grey) or the cuffs. I liked Heather's because the fabric was a nice contrast but they looked very professional. One of the reasons I LOVE this show is that when Patrick says he thinks one sleeve is a little longer, he actually gets out a tape measure to check. I can't imagine how the designers on Project Runway would react to that level of scrutiny. Loved that the pattern was perfectly straight down both sleeves. I didn't like the big opening in Tamara's sleeves. Of the three sewers who used patterned fabric, hers was the only one that tilted slightly. I hated the big puff on Chinelo's sleeves.

I was mesmerized by the cape top that Tamara was wearing this week.

I found it really interesting that all four of the sewers used a different method to create a pattern out of their original garment. I liked the logic they used for choosing the final challenge. I've had garments I love that I wish I could have remade for various reasons (it just got old and worn, it didn't fit anymore, I wanted it in another color).

Tamara's made to measure garment seemed like the most challenging because of all the pieces (and she made a top and pants). No one else's seems particularly challenging (although Chinelo's did seem unnecessarily time consuming). Did Lynda explain how she didn't have enough fabric? Interesting that this time they didn't show the sewers having fit buddies as they did when they had to make pants for themselves.

I disagreed with May - I preferred the original garment to Chinelo's version. The fluffier strips on the original made it look like a fun party dress. The flatter strips she used made the new dress look a bit homemade. Some of the strips were uneven and I hated all the long loose threads that were visible. There was something in the torso that looked like it didn't fit well.

Heather's dress was really simple but I think it would have looked better if she had chosen a different fabric. The ivory color made it look really plain and it also showed every little fit issue. I don't think she had major fit problems but they looked worse because of the shape and color of the dress.

Lynda's first mistake was choosing this dress to recreate. It didn't have clean lines in the original. It looked a little too baggy and slouchy so she already had that working against her even before she realized she didn't have enough fabric. The waistline waterfalling was really noticeable too.

I didn't love that Tamara chose so many fabrics for her top. It made her look like she was wearing a patchwork quilt. Having black all the way around the bottom of the top combined with the black pants looked weird to me too, like she was wearing a skirt. I do give her credit for putting together such a complicated top.

While I was sad to see Lynda go, I agree with the judges that she was really inconsistent this week. And how adorable was she when she said that it was worth getting eliminated to get a hug from Patrick?

I, too, will miss this show when it's gone. I absolutely love the camaraderie between the contestants and seeing them use actual skills, which seems to be a rarity on reality shows these days. And I agree that the judges have never eliminated someone unjustly (unlike some other shows I could mention!).

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I've never seen a tie made before, so I loved seeing how a tie is constructed. It seems like such a simple thing but seeing how complicated it actually is was really interesting. I also loved watching Patrick show Chinelo what was what.

Hee, I loved seeing Heather's husband duck under the doorway to get into her sewing room/dining room at home. I never realized the dressage was a career (as in you can make enough money to support yourself).

Part of me felt bad for Chinelo when she was so flummoxed by following the tie pattern, but then I thought this is the second season of the show so the applicants had to know that every episode would have one pattern challenge. Not being able to follow a pattern is like going on Hell's Kitchen and not knowing how to make scallops or risotto. You know it's going to be asked of you so it's in your best interest to practice before you go on the show.

Of the three bridal alterations, I liked the look of Tamara's the most but I can see why the judges put it in last place. She didn't finish the edges of the skirt which was a pretty major thing. I didn't like the top of Heather's so I'm glad that the judges explained the details so I could understand the technical details.

I wonder if they have a bunch of overlock machines already threaded with different colors or if each of the sewers has to thread their own overlock machine with the color they need. That can take a really long time!

I really liked that going into the final made to measure challenge, it was anyone's game. Chinelo came in last and then first. Tamara came in first and then last. Heather came in second on both challenges. That made me feel like it was a pretty level playing field.

Heather's dress sounded like mounds and mounds and mounds of fabric. The dress sounded like a lot of work when she described the different layers to the judges. I wasn't sure I would like the chain when she initially mentioned it, but it ended up being an interesting detail that showed her love of dressage. The bodice was beautifully gathered. The lettuce trim on her skirt was so lovely. The extra effort of making the bustle detachable was great. I've seen some gowns with bustles that kind of depoofed as the night went on, so all the little gathers and stitches she added to keep the volume were very smart. Of all the dresses, hers was the only one that actually looked couture to me. It had a clear theme (especially with the hat and whip added) without looking like a costume.

As soon as I saw the illustration of Tamara's dress, I thought ugh, there is no way she's going to win with that ugly dress! Silk flowers, razor slashes, crystal organza, floral print, and a racerback. Good lord! Then I remembered that I wasn't watching Project Runway and the judges would be more focused on how well sewn her ugly dress was. And then Patrick came by her table and said he loved it! I'm surprised she used a glue gun to attach the flowers. That's straight out of Project Runway! The overall effect of her dress was not great. It looked like something you'd find in the teen section at a department store. I think the dress fit well but it wasn't flattering.

Chinelo's dress looked too simple (similar to Heather's sheath dress in the previous episode) so I knew it was going to have to be really well sewn and perfectly fitted to impress the judges. There was some puckering in the side seams, but the fit was good. I just felt like it was too simple. And it definitely didn't look couture to me. It looked like a prom dress you could find at the mall.

The judges tend to weight the made to measure garment more heavily in their elimination decisions so based on that, I thought Heather would win so I was very happy for her. Out of the three finalists, she was the only one who actually created a haute couture gown.

Unlike most other competitive reality shows, I thought any of the three of the three finalists was deserving because they all had different strengths and weaknesses. What I hate about some other shows is that there are finalists who are clearly favored or much weaker than the others, creating an imbalance. But in this finale, I could see any of them winning and seeing why the judges chose them.

It was so great to see the previous contestants back in the sewing room just milling about, and even more so when the three finalists came in and everyone got hugs. I loved seeing Tamara and Chinelo being so gracious after Heather won. I just wish they had a nicer looking trophy for the winner!

Loved all the updates on everyone, accompanied by footage of most of them eating in the sewing room. I loved the shot they picked of Jenni with her yellow pants. I'm so sad that this show is over! I hope they do a third season next year!

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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My roomate and I were disappointed with the final.  We felt like they chose a winner based mainly on the final challenge and did not give enough weight to the previous weeks work.  I was convinced Tamara would win until I saw her final dress with the glued on flowers. 

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I'm surprised she used a glue gun to attach the flowers. That's straight out of Project Runway!

 

I just watched this on iPlayer, and I thought the exact same thing! And I haven't even watched a full season of PR. I think Tamara blew it with that dress. The minute I saw her gluing things on, I thought "nope, she's lost." 

 

Last season, there was a clear winner from very early on - there was just no way that Ann was not going to win. This season, the contestants were a lot more uneven in general. I also thought that the challenges were harder - there were so many times when a contestant didn't finish his/her project. I remember reading the blog of the person who was the technical consultant for Season 1 (http://thethriftystitcher.co.uk/), and I guess maybe Season 2, and she said for S1, they had her complete all the challenges to make sure they were giving the contestants a realistic but challenging time limit. I thought this season that wasn't there, or maybe the contestants weren't as good. 

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I can find lists that show that there are 8 episodes.

 

But here I only see three.  And online and Dailymotion I can only find ep 6 and 8.  Why no 7?

 

Where are episodes one through five? 

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Ah, got it,  But I was also talking about the fact that I can't find those episodes to watch anywhere.   I'm in the US and 6 and 8 are the only ones that seem to be "out there" anywhere. 

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To tide us over before season 3 of The Great British Sewing Bee (which will air in spring 2015) there will be a three part celebrity edition that benefits Children in Need. Can't wait!

 

 

Doctor and TV presenter Dawn Harper, Hairy Biker Dave Myers, radio DJ and presenter Edith Bowman and actress Wendi Peters will all be competing to sew an a-line skirt.

 

There will be a different host each week. For the first episode, the host is Jenny Eclair. I'm not British so I don't know who any of these people are, but I'm looking forward to seeing this episode!

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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It's baaaaaaack!

 

 

 

The Great British Sewing Bee returns for a six-part series presented by Claudia Winkleman. Ten of the country's best home sewers face three challenges to make or alter an item of clothing under intense time pressure. Each week, their creations are judged by Savile Row's Patrick Grant and sewing expert May Martin, until one of them is crowned Britain's best amateur sewer.

In the first episode, ten nervous home sewers are asked to work with a core fabric found in every dressmaker's cupboard: cotton. With shaking fingers and sweaty palms, the sewers attempt to create their best work under the watchful gaze of the judges. The fabric-lovers take on 3D construction in a pair of women's trousers (complete with complicated invisible zip), have to totally transform a bog standard denim shirt in just 90 minutes and are asked to produce a stunning summer dress for their real-life models. Everything from uneven hemlines to spots matched with military precision is offered up to the judges, but who will crack under the pressure of the sewing room?

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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Is this show available in the U.S.?

No, but you can use the hola unblocker to watch it on the BBC website or look for it online. The previous seasons were often posted on youtube and dailymotion.

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I have learned so much about different sewing techniques from watching this show (in theory only - I can't sew at all in reality) so I thought it would be good to have a separate thread to discuss various sewing techniques on the show or for people to ask questions about some of these techniques.

 

This week I learned about kimono sleeves, which Amanda used on her summer dress. I had to google it because the show didn't explain them, which I don't mind because I know they can't go into every little thing that each sewer does.

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Oh, how I have missed this show, especially after how terrible Project Runway: All Stars has been this season. I loooooove that the judges actually care about construction enough to get out a ruler to make sure the hem and seams are even. I also love that Claudia talks with the judges about what they specifically want to see in each garment so we know what to look for. And I love that the show then has diagrams of the patterns so we can see exactly what they sewers are expected to do. And I love that even from the first episide. EVERY piece of clothing is critiqued and the judges rank every single piece from last to first. I hate how shows like Project Runway only give feedback to the top and bottom designs.

 

On a shallow note, I still love Patrick but good lord, that moustache has got to go. It looks like the biggest fuzziest caterpillar just parked itself on his upper lip.

 

I love seeing how diverse the contestants are. Ten contestants is a manageable amount for me to get to know in a short amount of time (unlike S13 of Project Runway which started with 19 designers - I was like sorry, there is no way that I have time to learn all of your names, let alone give a crap about most of you for the first month).

 

Cute that Neela's daughters are already sewing at 11 and 8. Ha, loved Claudia talking about how much she emulates Cleopatra's eye makeup. Wow, Lorna was quite a looker! I can't imagine how difficult it mut have been to find clothes that fit her in her youth. I love that Annie has a dairy farm and makes cheese. Piggy pin cushion! I wasn't sure about Matt. Between his lack of experience and his non-pinning method, I was worried that his pieces would not be accurate enough. In contrast, I like how precise Alex is. I was cracking up (and simultaenously totally admiring) that she made a plaster cast of her torso so that she has a mannequin exactly the same shape as herself.

 

Love that Neil has taken his sewing machine to Kosovo and Bosnia. Deborah's story about sewing with her sister was cute. Ooh Paul is a massage therapist. Call me! I want to see more of his drag queen creations too. Loved hearing about how Ryan's grandmother sewed teddy bear clothes out of her old jeans (heh, that's the American translation of "nan" and "dungarees"). Amanda might be in trouble in the weeks to come based on her comment about how she always follows the instructions unless she knows a better way to do it.

 

Lots of mistakes in the first challenge,some of which I'm chalking up to nerves (like Alex sewing her pants inside out). Oh, Paul. First he put in a regular zipper instead of an invisible zipper and then when he fixed it, he sewed the pants with one side facing out and one side inside out. Amanda might be shooting herself in the foot. Anyone who has watched this show knows that you always follow the instructions to the letter or Patrick and Mary will ask why you deviated. Hilarious to see Matt ironing the pants while they were on the mannequin. I've sometimes wished I could do that after I've put something on.

 

Neela's green and white polka dot pants looked nice. I can't tell you how happy I was to see Patrick nitpicking about the crease being a centimeter off on one leg. I get so tired of the Project Runway judges handwaving unfinished hems so it's refreshing to see Patrick and May notice something as minor as a difference of one centimeter. Paul's pants were kind of a mess. Between the lump at the bottom of the zipper and the weird blue skies/fluffy white clouds fabric, they didn't look great. Annie's blue floral pants looked pretty good. If only she hadn't accidentally ironed a crease into them! Matt was brave to choose a solid color instead of a pattern. You could see every detail in those pants, but they looked pretty good. I liked that he used a contrasting bias binding at the waist but it did backfire on him a bit. Deborah's floral pants looked pretty good aside from that tiny bit of bagging at the waist. I wasn't sure about her fabric when she chose it but it ended up looking nice, almost like an embroidered Asian fabric from a distance.

 

I think Patrick was correct about Amanda - if she hadn't spent so much time doing French seams, she would have had enough time to press her pants properly and they would have looked better (although that wouldn't have prevented the waist from bagging an entire inch!). Neil's pink and white pants looked great. They looked perfect in every way. Alex's plain purple fabric showed every flaw. The zipper was terrible. Ryan's blue patterned pants looked a bit messy too. I'm not sure how much of it was the little shapes on the fabric vs. not pressing the pants well vs actually not sewing well. Lorna took a risk with that big floral print knowing that she wouldn't be able to line up the pattern at the seams perfectly but the pants looked very tropical and well made. Neil's pants definitely deserved to win. They looked perfect from every angle.

 

I forgot how much I loved watching the sewers have tea together between/after challenges. It's so different from seeing the designers on Project Runway shoveling food into their mouths during their sewing time.

 

I always have mixed feelings about the alteration challenge. Sometimes I love it but other times I feel it gets too crafty. I can't stand denim shirts, so I was interested to see what the sewers would do.

 

The draping on Paul's top was good but I didn't like that the button placket he used for the halter top was sewn right on top. I also thought it was cut really low in the back so it could probably only be worn by teenagers or girls in their 20s. I agree with the judges that Annie's dress looked the most similar to the original shirt and the shape wasn't very flattering. The sleeves showed some good technique. Matt's skirt was too similar to the original for me too. I could see how the skirt was originally a shirt with a ruffle added to the bottom and a waistband. It was cute and flattering but not enough of a change. The judges said that Ryan should have cut some fabric from the halter part instead of gathering the material but I think there were more problems than just that. It looked very dated and not well made. Neil's A line skirt was a good idea in theory (a friend of mine made a similar skirt out of old jeans with those inserts) but I was surprised that the panels weren't perfectly symmetric after the precision he showed in the previous challenge.

 

Alex's skirt was way too much tulle and didn't have enough of the original denim shirt. It was almost all tulle with some denim trim. It was cute and fun in theory but I can't imagine many people actually wearing it. I liked Deborah's pencil skirt with a denim bustle but I had the same issue as with Alex's - not enough denim from the original shirt. I feel like the new piece should be at least 50% denim. I might have preferred a non-flowered fabric too, but the design itself was nice. Lorna's kiddie skirt was a little weird. I didn't like the patch of flowered fabric beneath one side of the waist band. I know some people like assymetry (and I don't mind it) but it just made the skirt looked unbalanced to me. She did use a lot of different techniques though. Neela's skirt looked too much like the original shirt with embellishments. The big pattern on the fabric she used for the waistband and the bow plus the big buttons made it look very juvenile. I also didn't like how angled the pockets were in the back. Amanda's dress was cute with lots of tecnique. I would have preferred a different fabric for the straps.

 

I'd forgotten how much I love the music on this show! I also love that the made to measure challenge features regular women, not size 00 models. I also love that the models are obviously wearing bras and underwear, unlike many of the garments on Project Runway where the models clearly can't wear bras. I always feel bad that the models on this show spend all five hours sitting around the sewing room.

 

On another shallow note, I love that when they show a mockup of each designer's made to measure dress, they illustrate the fabric pattern too. I like that they also tell us the different technical aspects of each dress like set in sleeves, invisible zippers, etc.

 

I liked that Neil made an effort to line up the dots on his fabric for the seam, but as soon as I saw that his summer dress had those cut outs, I was like sorry, no. I loved that Claudia flat out asked him, "Who would wear that? Rihanna?" The fit on the model was great and the pattern was matched beautifully all the way down the front and back. Neil looks like a contender!

 

Deborah's fabric was very bold but pretty. Fit and flare dresses are pretty flattering so I was looking forward to seeing this on her model. I was worried that it might look a little too crafty because of the pattern, but it was so cheery. It ended up loooking like something you could find at anthropologie. She did such a great job matching the pattern and it fit the model really well - skimmed the body snugly without looking too tight.

 

Alex was smart to find the pattern in her fabric so she could line it up at the beginning. It's too bad that she eventually abandoned trying to match up the pattern. If you're only going to match the pattern in one place, it should be the front. I wasn't sure I would like the empire waist cherry dress and it was just okay for me. It was really obvious that the pattern wasn't matched up on the front of the dress which isn't always a deal breaker for me but I think if she had chosen a different fabric then the dress would have looked much better.

 

Neela really gave herself a challenge with that multi circle pattern, especially since she had princess seams and it was really obvious that the pattern didn't line up at all. The back was too long so it ended up looking lumpy on the model.

 

Interesting that Lorna said she always chooses her fabric first and then her dress pattern. I wonder if May asked everyone that question. Lorna's poppy fabric was really bold. I usually don't think of three quarter sleeved dresses as summer dresses but maybe it's colder in the summer in the UK than it is here in California! Her dress was so impeccable.

 

How funny that Paul had the same poppy fabric as Lorna but with a white background (the sewers choose the fabric for the made to measure challenge ahead of time and outside of the workroom so he and Lorna wouldn't have known that they had the same fabric until now). Love that Paul's model is a little older. You know you'd never see that on Project Runway outside of the "real women" challenge. I didn't like the white trim all over the dress which made it look very home ec. I also didn't like that big pleat in the front of the skirt. I liked the V in the back of the bodice.

 

Awww, love that Matt made his wife's favorite sleeveless A line dress. I didn't like the fabric though. The pale blue color combined with the small pattern looked so anemic to me. The dress itself was very simple but it's too bad his invisible zipper was visible.

 

Ryan's 50s tea dress had a lot of boob showing, which was a huge contrast with the higher necklines of all the other dresses. I'm not complaining though. He did a good job gathering the skirt. I wasn't sure about that blue fabric.

 

I liked the shape of Amanda's picnic dress but the fabric was a bit bright and busy up close and it looked a little juvenile, like something you would see on a little kid. From far away, instead of bright and busy it looked faded and busy. I almost started fast forwarding when she was talking over Patrick. Overtalking is a huge pet peeve of mine and I can't stand listening to it (one of the reasons why Parenthood drove me crazy).

 

I loved the shape of Annie's classic tea dress with the draped sleeves asnd gathered bust, but lord that fruity fabric was a bit much up close. It ended up looking better on the finished dress. I agreed that the bust should have been lowered. The waist was noticeably higher in the front.

 

Well deserved win for Neil (hee, despite the cut outs that I hated). I waas not surprised that Annie was eliminated. She didn't do well in any of the challenges, and she admitted that she isn't long on creativity so she wouldn't have done well if she had stayed. Alex was really saved by her tutu skirt.

 

I am so glad that this show is back. I can't wait to see next week's episode. Hopefully it will help me cope with the withdrawal I will be going through after the Big Allotment Challenge ends!

 

One thing I noticed is that there was no history lesson this week. I hope that's not a permanent change for the whole season. I love when Claudia tells us about a certain textile or garment from the past!

 

Edited because proofreading is important!

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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Patrick's mustache is terrible!!! But yes, I am delighted that this show is back.

 

I think 3/4 length sleeves would be totally appropriate in England in summer- it's a lot colder there than it is in California. Heck, even in New England, where I live, I could wear 3/4 length sleeves most of the summer if the dress were cotton. I am almost done with the Lisette Diplomat dress, and I am making it with 3/4 length sleeves (they may actually be more like elbow length). I expect to be able to wear it through almost the entire summer. 

 

I can't keep all the contestants straight yet - Alex and Lorna are the only ones I can really put faces with names, otherwise, it's stuff like "army guy" and "sewing dad" and "redhead" and "sews for his drag queen friend." Lots of men on this season, many of whom seem very good.

 

The thing that always seems to make this show so hard is the time limit. 3 hours for pants does not seem very long at all! I have only been sewing for a couple of years, but I think even with kids' pants, I would probably need 4-5 hours. I am slow, though. I think many of them would do a very very good job if given longer time- some of the contestants said as much, which I think they've never said out loud before. I know in past seasons, they test the time limit by having a professional theatre costumer do the challenges (I can't remember the name of her blog, but it is probably easily google-able - she is a technical consultant for the series) to see if the time limit is reasonable, but it seems really tight for most of them.  

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Oh heck Patrick, you're channeling Fire Island in 1979 - lose the face furniture. May is always so elegant and good with advice, unlike the Bake Off, she is very 'hands on', like with Paul and the wrong zip. He fascinated me, if nothing else, from the look of his female impersonator friend, he has mastered bust architecture!

 

I had exactly the same thought as EB on the alteration  challenge: how could they give top marks to someone who only used the shirt as trim? 

 

I was so taken with Lorna and her big prints, the others faded into paleness - although Matt talking to his daughters was too cute, not convinced he has the techniques to go the distance and poor young Ryan looked like he was going into arrest. 

 

Colonel Neil was interesting and a bit frightening, I wonder if his wife is a fembot, 

 

Poor Mrs Doubtfire - the kindly cheese making Scottish lady who was eliminated. I don't think she had the physical stamina to cope with the speed of the challenges, I'm sure she was more skilled than her performance suggested. Her farmland looked so green and lush, I'm sure she won't mind going home.

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Oh heck Patrick, you're channeling Fire Island in 1979 - lose the face furniture.

Ha, whenever I see "Fire Island" in print, I always hear it as "FIRE...ISLAND" because I went to a David Sedaris book signing where he read one of this stories about a guy asking him about Fire Island thusly, "Do you know about FIRE...ISLAND?" But yes, that moustache has got to go. I love you, Patrick, but please stop emulating Magnum PI.

 

May is always so elegant and good with advice, unlike the Bake Off, she is very 'hands on', like with Paul and the wrong zip. He fascinated me, if nothing else, from the look of his female impersonator friend, he has mastered bust architecture!

I really loved that she told him that his zipper was wrong. I noticed that during judging, she and Patrick didn't mention that one of his panels was inside out so I wonder if he fixed it.

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The nine remaining amateur sewers prepare to do battle again, in a bid to bag garment of the week and secure their place in the running to win The Great British Sewing Bee. The three challenges this week test the sewers' ability to make clothes on a miniature scale, starting with a child's waistcoat done the tailor's way, before attempting to breathe new life into a boring t-shirt and hand-me-down dress. The sewing room enters completely into the atmosphere of child's play for the final fancy-dress challenge - creating everything from miniature boxing shorts with matching gloves, a pink elephant ballerina and even a blue-footed booby bird.

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I wonder how much detail the pattern gives in the instructions? Because some of the stuff, like inserting an invisible zip, I have done, but I don't think I could do it again without referencing something. Invisible zips aren't hard, but they requires some thinking, because you sew the zipper face down onto the fabric right side up or something like that. You have to make sure the zip is twisted just right, and then when you sew up the seam, you have to be careful not to have a bump. 

 

I remember Ann (who won S1) said in interviews that she does a LOT of hand basting and hand sewing to finish in general. She had experience sewing couture clothing in her youth (for pay), IIRC. 

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It sounds like there are certain things that have more detailed instructions in the first challenge each week, but there are some things that they assume the sewers already know how to do. I remember in past seasons, sometimes there were sewers who didn't know exactly how to do something and they asked someone else.

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So had enough of snow - had a much better time watching GBSB again this morning with proper attention and good coffee.

 

Ryan and Matt were also sensible in choosing simple patterns which showed off  cutting and finishing skills. Matt really seems to enjoy contrast borders (and zippers) - not sure May does ...

 

Alex reminds me of Tilly in the first Bee - so stylish and individual but making your own clothes so well is different from sewing for others. That cherry print would make me stop and complement a complete stranger if she walked past   but she had no concept of how long it was going to take her. With Neil, the polka dots were very well matched, but they are also a sensible choice, as white round and symmetrical are easier to match than patterns pointing in different  directions. It was an amazing fit, and it's obvious he has a ton of experience fitting a person, but wondered if he was a little over-praised. 

 

Paul's dress had that fussy pleating and edging (loved the home ec comment EB - though i think it may also reflect his 'client base' - I've never met a transvestite yet who wouldn't  go for a pink blazer with white piping, and this is the same ball park)  and his model, who I remember from previous seasons (she's pretty memorable), had no shoulders, so good luck getting the fit right on the back May. I thought he had a much harder job than the gatherers. 

 

Amanda.  Hmm. Elementary School Principal. My mind kept screaming mennonite. Her dress fabric looked like she has broken into a Lutheran Orphanage and stolen the curtains. Those windmills, sailboats and dutch boys. It was competent but that sort of comfort formlessness just says inmate to me. Winona wore the same style in Girl, Interrupted. 

 

How did I miss Deborah? I think I blanked her out as I couldn't cope with her hipster wedding frock, Loved that nordic style print. Most of my girlfriends would buy the heck of  that, especially the ones who want to appear like they might do handicrafts (but don't own paper scissors). It was fitted well. She might just be a little firecracker. I'll be cheering her, along with Lorna, as she is fabulous, and for Ryan, just because I love the faces he pulls .. although hawaiian shirt AND a windcheater? On TV? It's a good job the 'coppers' are unarmed in England, as the style police would have gunned him down. 

Edited by shandy

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The only thing I can remember about this season is that I loved that Heather won.  Chinelo was clearly talented, but I wanted her to come out of that West African Church Dress comfort zone, and she didn't especially. 

 

Never mind the sewing, Tamara the zany childrens entertainer would annoy/send me round Heather's cottage for a bucket of gin and possible adoption. a) she teaches horse dancing to wealthy people b) she has dinner parties and c) she lives in a country cottage with a giant husband who used be a Buckingham Palace Guard. 

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I'm loving Lorna, I think that she might be my favourite to win. 

 

Barbara's really cute, and Ryan is doing really well, so I am really liking them too.

 

I'm glad Alex has gone, she was my least favourite. 

 

Next week looks good though!

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What I love about these reality shows is that I change my mind on the contestants. I didn’t rate Paul last week, but he’s clearly creative and talented with a lovely mother, and little Ryan (who gets his love of busy fabric from mom yikes) turns out to be a-mazing at shearing.

 

Alex the Romani beauty has wonderful ideas, but even more than last week, it’s execution vs time pressure. That cute child’s disappointed look would have made me cry. I thought Amanda’s flapper dress was over-marked tho - she should have been down there in the danger zone.  That Gloria Swanson turban was not in the league of Matt’s ‘potential deathtrap’ peacock fan. I am mesmerized by his involuntary eyebrow movements.

 

Colonel Neil clearly needs to run the UN. I get the feeling he is incredibly competent at everything he does. I wasn’t expecting hulking but polite teenage sons nor wife who appeared so normal. In the States he’d probably be Mormon! My nephews would have loved the iphone outfit.

 

Lorna still has this by a country mile for me tho. That little summer dress was exquisite. She’s like the Mame type aunt any theatrical little boy always wanted - her model obviously thought so, bless his heart.

 

Patrick is such a character -  May seems to drown in the heaving lake of his adoring fans - I wish we could see more of her helping the sewers as previous contestants are full of praise for her advice.

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Going into the show, I thought Ryan would be gone this week, but I'm glad he kicked it into gear. I get the feeling Patrick has a soft spot for him, especially after he knocked the waistcoat out of the park. Glad Paul won, and the elephant costume was so well done, but Lorna and Neil are clearly the top tier, though.

Also, just have to give Claudia props. I started watching the show because of her, and she doesn't disappoint. I like the way she's enthusiastic and encouraging, and her segment on the history of the waistcoat was really interesting.

Edited by TyranAmiros
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I'm not a sewer so I'm not sure if sewing children's clothing is easier or more difficult than adult sized clothing (in past seasons, I recall some of the sewers choosing to make child sized clothing for some of the challenges but I don't know if that was because they were used to making clothes for their kids or if there was some other reason like being able to use less of the required fabric to make a complete outfit). Between the welt pockets and the tiny button holes, those waistcoats looked like a pain in the ass to make.

 

I have mixed feelings about the second challenge because depending on what they are given to work with each week, it can skew a little crafty/homemade looking. I liked this week's yellow ti-shirt challenge though. Lorna made a very sweet little dress with a lot of nice details. I liked the big bow across the front, the flounce at the bottom of the skirt was cute, and the sleeves were nice. Neil's boxing shorts looked more like board shorts to me. The tiny boxing gloves were so cute too. Paul's skirt was veering into homemade territory for me because of the heart trim and the blue fringe trim. Smart to use the shirring from the dress for the waistband. I wasn't crazy about Alex's harem pants but I get why she made them after she talked about not needing to create a crotch for them, and stretchy cotton is perfect for harem pants. I was cracking up over Patrick pronouncing it "har-eem" pants.

 

Ryan's dress was cute. All that snocking at the top with the little ties at the shoulders was exactly like a dress I had when I was about five. The yellow fabric made it look very summery. Deborah's bolero jacket honestly didn't look like something a little kid would wear but it was well made. Matt's board shorts were woefully wrinkled at the crotch. I think it goes without saying that you don't want to draw attention to a child's crotch for any reason. Amanda's cape was too simple. She just took two pieces of fabric and sewed them together. To be fair though, I had a cape when I was a little kid and I LOVED it so in terms of wearbility, I think it would get the kiddie stamp of approval. Neela's one shouldered dress was really cute. I loved that multicolored polka dot fabric she used for the ruffle at the top and the bottom. It's too bad she accidentally stretched it out when putting it on the mannequin.

 

Poor Lorna - second place in the first two challenges. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride this week.

 

As usual, I felt bad for the models having to sit around the sewing room for hours, especially since they were all kids. But children's costumes - what fun! Paul's ballerina elephant was so cute. Neil's iphone costume was an interesting idea and I appreciate that he made all the different applique apps, but I just couldn't warm to the idea of a kid dressed as a phone. What I didn't like about Neela's bookworm was that if she hadn't sewn the word "BOOK WORM" to the front, I would have had no idea what this little girl was supposed to be. I also didn't like the way that the main piece was a jumper (in the American sense of the word, not the British sense of the word).

 

I had mixed feelings about Deborah's peacock because on the one hand, to get the full effect of the big peacock tail, the little girl had to hold her arms up which could get tiring. On the other hand, because she didn't have a huge structured peacock tail it would be easy for her to sit down in a chair, get in and out of a car, etc. As a Halloween costume, it would be great because most of the costume is a cape and a hat, which means you could have your kid wear warm layers underneath. Similarly, Ryan's fox costume was essentially a hooded coat which means it's easy to wear other clothes underneath, and you can remove it quickly and easily, The face was well done.

 

Amanda's flapper costume was nice (and I liked that she didn't go with the traditional red fringe) but I wasn't sure that her hat would satisfy the requirement for having 3D/structure somewhere in the costume. But May said it was okay and I am not going to argue with her! Alex's cupcake concept was a good idea but once again she couldn't execute it within the time constraints. I felt bad for her model, who seemed embarrassed not to have a finished costume.

 

Lorna's bird was very different from the other costumes and I loved her model. He seemed to enjoy being in the workroom (not that any of the kids seemed grumpy about spending an entire afternoon cooped up with a bunch of adults) and he did a great job modeling his costume. He was totally into it. I couldn't decide about Matt's peacock. It seemed very simple (a dress with a huge fan attached to the back) but you could definitely tell that it was a peacock. Ha, but I did love his explanation that his model was only invited to very slow moving parties.

 

Well deserved win by Paul for garment of the week (I still don't love that garment of the week is always selected from the made to measure challenge - sometimes the garments from the first two challenges turn out even better). I would have been fine with Lorna winning too.

 

I'm not surprised that Alex was eliminated. She didn't do well this week or last week. I think she is a good sewer and that she really excels at sewing clothes for herself when she doesn't have these time constraints. She has had some good ideas and seems to be creative but the May and Patrick have to judge what she presents, not what she intended to present. I wouldn't have been surprised if Matt had been eliminated though. Between his sad peacock and the horrible crotch on his board shorts, he was on thin ice in my book.

 

I, too, love that the sewers can emerge as contenders from week to week. The judges really loved Paul this week. I wasn't crazy about his skirt in the alteration challenge but his ballerina elephant was so great!

 

Glad that the history segments are back - yay!

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A blogger has posted a catchall for season three social media links.

 

There have also been a bunch of profiles of the competitors in their regional publications. I should go back and rewatch episode one - I missed hearing that Matt also did a lot of sewing while serving in the British army.

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Claudia takes the eight sewers back in time to the 50s when home sewing was at its height. Having transformed the sewing room in line with the era, judges Patrick Grant and May Martin have also tracked down one of the biggest-selling dressmaking patterns of the time - dubbed 'the walk-away dress' because you could 'start it after breakfast and walk away in it for luncheon!' Next the sewers enter the world of make do and mend when they are given a vintage gem which they must transform into a wearable garment. Finally they face an ambitious made-to-measure challenge when they are asked to make a 1950s blouse in unforgiving sheer fabric. This delicate and fiddly fabric shows every stitch both inside and out. There is nowhere to hide as the sewers struggle to control the most mobile of materials.

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I don't know if it was because the sewers decided thinner cottons would be easier to deal with on the antique machines, but I found myself wishing the Walk Away dresses were poofier.

 

Normally Paul's choice of prints come across as garish to me - like that multicolor binding he used for his bright walk away dress, but I dug the fabric he chose for the blouse and I was impressed by his work with the sleeves.

 

I finally noticed the candid pics of the sewers next to the explanatory drawings of their blouses. Young Matt had a fabulous head of hair!

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I was so pleased that Lorna won garment of the week. I can imagine her wafting along the gangway on a cruise ship. I liked the oversize buttons on her walkaway dress - it's part of Lorna's style with her chunky jewelry.

 

Love that Matt has already decided Colonel Neil is the alpha male. Neil really appreciates the female form, his fitting is always the best in the room

 

I don't know why May and Paddy mark Paul so low - his binding on the walkaway was flawless (and rainbow colored) - compared to Amanda's complete mess or Matt's raw edges. His blouse (and Lorna's) were the only ones that looked remotely wearable. Amanda's wasn't floating enough, Deborah's fit was unflattering to her model, I liked Neil's neck line, but it had gathered up and was fighting the fabric. Matt's sleevless sack was awful and  Ryan's trip to Korea was memorable for the wrong reasons.

 

Neela was bubbly and brought a bit of diversity to the sewing room, but it was fair for her to go.She offered no excuses.  My only gripe with my brit reality obsession is ability to cope with time pressure beats talent every time.

 

Claudia must be on LSD - "Mommie, shall we go on the carousel" "Oui c'est bon!" - her mind is genuinely on another planet.

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I always feel bad when they have this old school sewing machine challenge because it can be hard enough to adapt to a different modern machine when you're under time constraints! I love the 50s fashions though.

 

Hee, I loved when May explained the name of the walk away dress came from the idea that a woman could cut out the pattern after breakfast and wear it by lunch and then Patrick conceded that you would have to have a very early breakfast.

 

I loved how diplomatic May tried to be about Amanda's button loops only to have Amanda admit that they weren't even attached properly. Paul was not kidding when he said that he prefers color. The print he chose was really colorful! I really liked the multicolored binding he used. I thought it complemented his fabric really well. The topstitching on his binding was nice and even too. It's a shame his bust darts weren't pressed to Patrick's satisfaction. Matt's fabric didn't seem very 50s to me (which I know is fine) - it made the dress look more like a housedress/robe. Too bad he had one raw unfinished edge.

 

Deborah's was an unfinished mess, but I did like the contrast of the gold binding with the dark purple fabric. The fabric was wrinkled or puckered on the chest, the button loops were uneven, and when May lifted the fabric to see the back to reveal all the whiskers of fabric, I was surprised at how much more work she had left to do. Ryan's floral print looked better suited to a quilt and the topstitching on the neck binding was not very even in the brief shot that I saw. It was much closer to the edge on the right and then there was a bigger gap as it moved the left.

 

Neil's didn't line up where the wrap came together to button. The binding really highlighted that the left side was higher than the right side. I did laugh at his explanation about how he had some extra time so he put a hole in the front of the dress. Lorna's yellow fabric with flowers and ladybugs seemed twee at close range, but from farther away it looked pretty good (although I think the pattern is a little juvenile for a whole dress). It would have been even more striking with red binding instead of pink. I totally agreed with Patrick about those orange buttons being too big and drawing attention to the two sides not being lined up perfectly.

 

Neela's ice cream fabric was in the same category as Lorna's for me - cute but a little juvenile. To be fair, since they're not actually putting these dresses on adult women, I don't mind the cute cotton prints. Ha, I loved when her button fell off and Neela said that Patrick did it on purpose. At least the sewers still have a good sense of humor about not doing well.

 

I laughed when the judges said the alteration challenge was to use vintage curtains from the 50s because I was imagining some kind of craigslist ad asking for people who want to get rid of their 50 year old curtains. None of the sewers complained about having old thin dusty fabric so I'm assuming the show just made simple curtains out of old looking fabric. I loved that the show spent the money to use all those Sound of Music songs. Most of them were instrumental versions which probably cost less, but I definitely heard Julie Andrews singing The Lonely Goatherd and the title song! I'm always amazed at how much more British and Australian shows spend on music rights (or are music rights just more expensive in America?).

 

Lorna chose a good fabric. The bright yellow background with the big print looked the least mumsy  and as a result, her garment looked the least mumsy. Her high waisted skirt looked chic. Ha, Ryan obviously had kitchen curtains, but he made good use of the pattern putting the food down the center and on the sleeves. It's too bad there were no buttons and a hole in one seam (but I loved when they referred to it as a bolero shirt).

 

Deborah's skirt was good but not great. I loved when May said it was nothing like a curtain but Patrick said it was slightly like a curtain. I think the turquoise floral pattern was the main reason. Neela's top was a little too simple and I agreed that the gap in the back was unintentional. To be fair, I had some tops that were like that in the back, but those were $20 tops I bought at Wet Seal to go clubbing in college.

 

Matt was smart to make a little girl's dress with that floral print. It looked so much better when May pulled the sides in to make it smaller. Paul's hi-low skirt was interesting but I didn't like the razzmatazz, as May called it. The green trim was too lumpy for my taste. Neil's dress looked like one of the more complex designs, but it might have been his undoing because he didn't have time to finish it. I was surprised that the judges gave him second knowing that he didn't finish everything. Amanda's fabric looked like a late 80s Jessica McClintock prom dress fabric, but she clearly had done a lot of work.

 

Those sheer blouses were bringing back memories of some shirts I had in the early 90s! At least the sewers were allowed to use their regular machines for the made to measure challenge. Sheer fabric is hard enough to work with so I can't imagine trying to sew it with a vintage machine. While the sewers were still constructing their blouses, I was wondering what the models would wear under these sheer tops.

 

While I appreciate the bright color, Paul's fabric looked like a tie dye accident. I was too distracted by that to notice the buttonhole issue until the judges pointed it out. The uneven hem and the twisted neck made it look messy.

 

Deborah's looked so great from the front but the back didn't look great. Aside from the button placket "going for a walk" as May put it, it looked like the fabric was pulling a little bit on both sides. I thought the turquoise and brown paisley material was more 60s than 50s, but it looked very Deborah. I was also distracted by the shirt Deborah was wearing 0 that globe/map print was so colorful!

 

I liked Matt's pattern, as well as the fabric but I understand why May disapproved of the fusable interface. You could definitely see a difference in the fabric of the collar vs. the rest of the top.

 

Amanda's fabric lime green fabric was so bright but then I was distracted when she said she was making something with a pussy bow. Yes, I'm mentally 12 years old. I cracked up when a boat went by and she said she wished she were on the boat. I found myself wondering exactly what a pussy bow was and how it was different from a non-pussy bow, but I was afraid of what I might find if I tried googling "pussy bow." In the end, it looked like one of those bows on an early 80s blouse.

 

Ryan's Asian lady fabric was a bit much for me. Because the print was so big, it ended up making the blouse look cartoonish. I couldn't even tell that the collar was supposed to be scalloped (which I remembered from the sketch once May pointed it out).

 

Neela's blouse looked like a cropped man's shirt tied at the waist. It just looked too simple compared to the others, just like in the alteration challenge. I appreciate the extra detail of the pintucks but it was really difficult to see on that white material.

 

Loved Lorna's blouse and her model was WORKING it. She had a sassy runway walk and then when Patrick wanted to see the zipper, she struck a pose with her arms in the air. I love her! It seems they didn't have the same models this week as the first week because I remember when the models entered the workroom this week, one of the sewers said, "Nice to meet you."

 

Loved Neil's mini ironing board. I could definitely use one of those for certain items! His blouse looked too messy though. I think that particular design would look better with a different non-sheer fabric. But you could see all the wrinkles in that crossover. That's just what happens with that crossover design but it looks much better in, say, an opaque stretch cotton.

 

After seven straight second place finishes, Lorna finally got two well-deserved wins this week! She has been a contender since the beginning so it's nice to see her finally get some wins.

 

I agree that it was Neela's time to go. She did not do well this week and I don't recall her wowing the judges in the previous two weeks either. She seems like a very nice person with a positive attitude, but it just wasn't her week.

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Ha, Ryan obviously had kitchen curtains, but he made good use of the pattern putting the food down the center and on the sleeves. It's too bad there were no buttons and a hole in one seam (but I loved when they referred to it as a bolero shirt).

.....

Loved Lorna's blouse and her model was WORKING it. She had a sassy runway walk and then when Patrick wanted to see the zipper, she struck a pose with her arms in the air. I love her!

 

It was impressive how quickly he put together that shirt and the level of work was evident. It really is impressive how much sharper he's been since episode 2.

 

Paul paid tribute to Lorna's model online.

 

Love that Matt has already decided Colonel Neil is the alpha male. Neil really appreciates the female form, his fitting is always the best in the room

 

....

 

Claudia must be on LSD - "Mommie, shall we go on the carousel" "Oui c'est bon!" - her mind is genuinely on another planet.

 

They josh each other in a relatable way and it's great to see how they collaborate. And you're absolutely right, Neil usually has a great sense of fit. That curtain dress was fantastic.

 

I actually loved that moment. Maybe because I too, can go out on weird tangents like that, but I don't get paid to vocalize them on TV. Also her delivery just sort of cracks me up. If that had been Sue on Bake Off saying that, I probably would have been just irritated at her terrible timing. I think Claudia is better about getting out of the contestants way when it's truly needed.

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Claudia opens the sewing room doors once more as the seven remaining amateur sewers prepare to take on a set of tasks designed to test their ability to add shape and structure to clothing. The sewers try to keep track of the twelve pieces of fabric needed to make a boned corset, then it's back to the 80s to deconstruct a power suit Maggie Thatcher would have been proud of!

 

Finally they face the most demanding made-to-measure challenge yet, making a traditional kilt from scratch. This iconic garment requires precision and skilful pattern cutting. The sewers take Patrick back to his roots, but whose ode to the Highlands will impress him most?

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I was surprised that so many of the sewers had made corsets before. I am not a sewer but I know how complicated it can be to make a corset and it's definitely not something I would want to attempt. I appreciate what boning does but I would never want to mess with making anything with boning.

 

Matt was smart to label his pieces with chalk. I also liked Amanda's labeling system where she wrote W to indicate the wrong side and the piece number as well as arrows later for the channels for the boning. And I totally approve of whichever sewer said never sew something until you've tried it on scrap fabric first.

 

Neil's corset looked almost perfect and he chose a good fabric. That busy gold design on top of the burgundy color was great because the pattern didn't have to match at the seams and it would have hidden any lumpy bits (but of course Neil had no lumpy bits in his corset!). Definitely a well deserved win! Deborah's was definitely rippled, part of which was due to th softer fabric she chose. Matt had the same issue with his fabric choice (in fact, his turquoise fabric looked almost identical to Deborah's) but his was less lumpy.

 

Lorna's looked really beautiful from a distance, and again I think fabric choice was key. Patrick nitpicking the way the front curved was really minor to my eyes but once he pointed it out, I saw what he was talking about. Amanda also did well choosing a firm fabric in a dark color with a jacquard pattern. Her corset looked great and then she shot herself in the foot by deciding to make her own binding. She didn't have enough time, the binding looked messy, she had to rush to finish, and she missed inserting an eyelet in the back.

 

Paul's corset seemed to have some pull in in the fabric but Patrick and May said it looked good. Ryan's striped corset looked pretty good from a distance but the stripes guaranteed nitpicking from the judges. Aside from the center seam, I thought the stripes were fine.

 

Loved the historical segment on corsets. Who knew that bicycles were what finally freed women from corsets? The Rational Dress Society sounds awesome! How freaking ridiculous that people opposed women dressing comfortably.

 

I was cracking up at all the power suits and the instrumental version of Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics and then the Dynasty theme music.

 

Matt's pink top was obviously made from the skirt and I didn't like that it looked like a recycled skirt. Amanda's was a mess. Like Patrick, I hated the random straps hanging off one shoulder. I totally agreed with May that it looked like a jacket that had the sleeves removed. Ryan's suit was made of a really 80s fabric. It was obvious that he put a lot of work and technique into transforming his suit into something completely different. I didn't like the black straps showing through the cut out areas though. Were they part of the mannequin or part of the garment?

 

I really liked Deborah's jacket. The shape was great and the collar was fun with no sign of the 80s anywhere. Interesting that although Patrick said adding a zip would make it a modern motorcycle jacket, they didn't criticize her for the safety pin holding the front together instead of a button. Lorna's maternity top was definitely changed but I felt that the red trim at the neck cheapened it. Loved that she made a mini baby bump for the mannequin. Paul's cocktail dress didn't fit well and I hated the blue trim at the shoulders. Neil's pink dress was a nice transformation. You'd never know that it was made from a power suit. I think I would have given the win to Ryan over Neil. I felt that the judges gave Neil a lot of extra points for the excellent fit.

 

I was really looking forward to learning more about kilts in the last challenge. I was hoping we would get a history lesson on kilts too. I loooooved that they told us exactly which tartan each sewer used. Claudia said that Ryan was the only one using a commercial pattern for his kilt so what kind of pattern were the other sewers using? It was so quiet in the work room when everyone was pinning their pleats.

 

The rule about how the bottom of the kilt should just skim the ground when kneeling is the same rule that my mom's Catholic school had about their skirt lengths. If their skirts didn't touch the ground, they got sent home.

 

Loved that Neil was so excited about the mathematical nature of making a kilt. Hearing him saying things like, "According to my calculations, I need twenty pleats," and "I gave myself ten minutes to sew each pleat but the first one took me six and a half minutes so I'm ahead of schedule," just cracked me up. His kilt was beautiful. Those pleats were just perfect. His hand fringing looked great too. Definitely a well deserved win.

 

Ryan's was definitely too long. I could tell even before Patrick said that the waist was too high and the hem was too long. And his definitely needed more underwrap to make sure everything would be safely hidden away on his model.

 

Deborah's kilt looked awesome and her model was working it on the runway. The pleats were perfect and the pattern she used looked really great.

 

Loved that Matt practiced by making a kilt for his wife but the one he made for his model was a mess. The darts weren't pressed well and it made the front of kilt look like it didn't fit well at all. The waistband also looked messy. The pleats in the back looked good though.

 

I was afraid Paul would be in trouble for using denim instead of a traditional tartan. The underwrap was hanging out which made his kilt look messy. The metallic studs on each pleat were a nice touch.

 

Lorna's pleats were great but I agree that the lack of understructure made the front look saggy and sloppy.

 

Amanda chose the wrong fabric. It looked a little saggy in the front and the pleats weren't as crisp as everyone else's. I'm not sure if that was her fault for not pressing them better though.

 

Lorna was hilarious this week. From her Ghostbusters song to saying that her corset had gone from MacBeth to Moulin Rouge, I was cracking up. It sounded like everyone was getting a little punch drunk. I loved when Claudia told Amanda that the pockets were too high and then Amanda said they weren't pockets so Claudia suggested epaulets and a dictator suit and then one of the guys said she should make a Kim Jong Il suit. Also loved Paul's mini fan. On a shallow note, I loved the blue and white polka dot dress that Deborah was wearing.

 

I knew that Neil was definitely safe this week and I was certain that Deborah was going through to the next week. I was sure that Amanda was going to be one of the eliminated sewers. She had a dismal week. She finished last in the first two challenges and her kilt was one of the worst. I was a little afraid that Lorna might be up for elimination because she has been in the top for every challenge until this week. I feared that the judges would see her dip this week as a huge drop. I was relieved when her name didn't come up during the judges' discussion.

 

I think this may be the first time that someone has won all three challenges in one week. Neil is really kicking some ass!

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I was cracking up at all the power suits and the instrumental version of Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics and then the Dynasty theme music.

 

That brass cover really was terrific. I'd have to rewatch but I thought I also heard a a few bars of Just Can't Get Enough in between the custom interludes. The show editors really do a great job dovetailing the original pieces with commercial selections.

 

I really liked Deborah's jacket. The shape was great and the collar was fun with no sign of the 80s anywhere. Interesting that although Patrick said adding a zip would make it a modern motorcycle jacket, they didn't criticize her for the safety pin holding the front together instead of a button.

 

 

Maybe they took it as an purposeful affect or took into account the construction time? I don't have a good sense for how difficult it was for her to reconstruct the jacket shoulders but I agree that the end result was fabulous. I'd wouldn't have given her the win over Neil and Ryan but it is the piece I'd buy.

 

Deborah is just hitting the radar for me and I feel like I finally am getting a sense of her personality. It was nice to see her joking around with the judges and explaining it took her ten minutes to lace the corset.

 

Loved that Neil was so excited about the mathematical nature of making a kilt. Hearing him saying things like, "According to my calculations, I need twenty pleats," and "I gave myself ten minutes to sew each pleat but the first one took me six and a half minutes so I'm ahead of schedule," just cracked me up. His kilt was beautiful. Those pleats were just perfect. His hand fringing looked great too. Definitely a well deserved win.

 

 

It totally makes sense that someone in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers would geek out over the structural engineering of the kilt but it was fun to see nonetheless.

 

I also continue to like his attitude. He gets a bit embarassed when he wins a challenge and he was paternally quick in making sure Ryan was ok after the corset challenge.

 

And how lovely that he made a corset wedding dress for his colleague. Plus did I see he and others trying to help people finish their corsets?

 

I was afraid Paul would be in trouble for using denim instead of a traditional tartan. The underwrap was hanging out which made his kilt look messy. The metallic studs on each pleat were a nice touch.

 

I like the idea of doing something unconventional - it sounded like he was almost going early 80s rock and it's too bad it wasn't as fabulously out there as it could have been. It didn't seem particularly glittery onscreen, for one. I find it fascinating that Paul, for all his loud projects, is relatively quiet and unassuming onscreen.

 

Lorna was hilarious this week. From her Ghostbusters song to saying that her corset had gone from MacBeth to Moulin Rouge, I was cracking up. It sounded like everyone was getting a little punch drunk.

 

Ghostbustahs....whatcha gonna make?

 

 

This is getting boring Neil.

 

I'll actually wear that.

 

Just one word and that's quite cutting. Right.

 

 

She and Matt continue to break out good pop culture references and drop quotables that keep things moving along.

 

Claudia, on the other hand, finally managed to weird me out with that comment to Ryan about "Some boobs are bumpy. Take it from mum." I'm hoping I missed her saying 'a mum' there. And I don't know about the purring as she petted the pleats. It was nice though, when she tried to comfort Ryan in the middle of his breakdown and then later joked that she was giving him two weeks as the rest got their two minute warning.

 

Even when he has trouble, I think Matt continues to impress. Considering that he's only been sewing seriously for three years, he's acquitted himself well in the challenges and with his easy rapport with Claudia, he's been one of the more telegenic contestants. In between steaming the mannequins, he had that funny little exchange with Claudia over his anxiety in chopping off that button and whether he'd meant to compete on Bake Off.

 

I agree that maybe Ryan could have won the transformative challenge. That dress could have fit right into a Karen Millen collection. I'm guessing it came down to taste, finishing and just how much work it took Neil to make that dress look so seamlessly unlike its origins.

 

Edited to add: Deborah talks about her polka dot dress here.

Edited by halopub
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I was so worried about Lorna. I’ve noticed before in these type of shows the older competitors flag after 4 weeks or so, I hope she can get her mojo back. She’s the only one who has mentioned the price of fabric x2, which I find endearing, as no-one mentions it’s cheaper to buy curtains than make them. She’s clearly wasting her money on cruises.

 

Loved how Ryan and May fell into the student-teacher groove in a heart beat. Sad for him, but I do think May and Patrick made the right choice in the final analysis.  The kilt was a disaster, and the alteration wasn’t enough to bring him over the line in front of Paul.

 

I took Claudia’s ‘mum’ comment totally to be a Ryan we all know boobies aren’t on your menu type moment *wink.  Later on, it didn’t help at all that Ryan’s model was bringing a bit of shizzle to the party. Poor Ryan looked a little too happy to concentrate on his kilt and that jazz hands high five was saying ravish me rather than good job!

 

Colonel Neil, I guess both because of his teenage kids, but also because of working with 1000s of recruits over the years, looked out for Ryan without being obvious about it. I was delighted to see how he, still active serving, and Matt, a veteran, are so relaxed and jokey around openly gay Paul. Brit TV is better for no drama about homosexuality; this would be an arc in US reality - how drag queen costumier (complete with boa) bonded with gritty Bosnia-Afghanistan vets.

 

Deborah really is opening like a lotus flower isn’t she? I think it just has taken a few weeks for a) the production team to dig her and b) for her natural personality to shine.

 

I just thought Amanda was weird. Nothing else to say.

 

Matt has become my secret crush ginger prince, despite the sears catalog dad jeans. I like his personality.

Edited by shandy
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Sad that Ryan went this week, but the lack of contestants blaming other people/timing for their failures really makes me sympathize with them more. Still, I wonder how Ryan would have done on a show like Project Runway where idea counts for as much or more as construction. It's interesting how the judges on the "Great British X" shows seem to tend toward conservative styles--I'd be very wary of doing what Ryan did with a "contemporary" kilt when they were clearly looking for something very traditional.

Loved Claudia snarking on Bake-Off this week with Matt.

Edited by TyranAmiros

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Deborah talks about her polka dot dress here.

Thanks for that link! I am not a sewer so there's no danger of me actually trying to make one for myself, but I love reading about the construction process and how she made adjustments. I agree that Deborah is really beginning to emege.

 

I was so worried about Lorna. I’ve noticed before in these type of shows the older competitors flag after 4 weeks or so, I hope she can get her mojo back. She’s the only one who has mentioned the price of fabric x2, which I find endearing, as no-one mentions it’s cheaper to buy curtains than make them.

ITA - she was such a strong contender in the first few weeks so I hope she can come back strong next week. She has such great sewing skills that it would be a shame if she didn't make the finals.

 

It's interesting how the judges on the "Great British X" shows seem to tend toward conservative styles--I'd be very wary of doing what Ryan did with a "contemporary" kilt when they were clearly looking for something very traditional.

I think where Patrick and May tend to lean towards the older/more conservative stuff is in the alteration challenge but overall it seems like as long as the garments are sewn well and fitted properly, they get a good deal of praise. I mean, we haven't seen any of the sewers make something particularly racy in three seasons, but I think even if one of them made the equivalent of J Lo's Versace dress at the Grammys, Patrick and May would be okay with it as long as the sewing and fit were both impeccable. Those two things seem to be the most important criteria to them.

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It's the semi-final, and the intensity in the sewing room increases as the five remaining sewers are welcomed back to demonstrate their skills with tricky and technical fabrics. The first task sees the sewers coming unstuck with delicate lace and slippery satins, next they take on the totally unexpected in the alteration challenge, and finally they are asked to make an entire leather jacket in just six and a half hours. There are triumphs and disasters as the sewers race against the clock to finish their garments, and the stress levels reach a new high as they learn that not one, but two sewers will be leaving the sewing room.

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I have to admit that I don't like lace, like at all. I admire handmade lace and love watching it being made, but I don't like actually wearing lace. Maybe it just brings back memories of my first communion dress. But I do appreciate how difficult it is to make a lace pencil skirt so I was interested to see how the sewers did in the first challenge.

 

Although I would never wear an orange lace skirt, Lorna's looked really good. I wouldn't have even noticed the drunken waistband if Patrick hadn't pointed it out. I thought Paul made a mistake using purple lace over a white skirt because every mistake would be visible. The unmatched hem wasn't as noticeable to me in the long shot, but that big lump at the bottom of the zipper reminded me of every cheap skirt I ever bought at the mall.

 

Deborah, on the other hand, was smart to choose a turquoise lace and a turquoise material. I also liked the pattern of her lace more than Lorna's and Paul's which looked very old fashioned to me. Deborah's lace looked more modern and fun. It's too bad that the underskirt was too big and causing the skirt to poof. Matt's skirt looked nice but because of the lace and fabric he used, you could really see all the dart seams which I don't like. I really liked Neil's fabric/lace combination. His and Deborah's were the only ones I would have considered wearing. Funny that they had the same problem with the poofy underskirt. Congrats to Matt!

 

Patrick, you disappoint me! I miss the days when he used to actually get out a ruler to see how uneven the hems were.

 

Interesting that the sewers were given neoprene in the difficult fabric week. In the Project Runway forum, several people have mentioned that it's actually easy to work with because it's firm and holds its shape. Man, why did three of the five sewers use light pink in this challenge?

 

I liked Deborah's dress. I disagree with Patrick about the box pleat in the back. It was cute and I've seen a lot of skirts like that. Hers looked the most transformed, the most wearable, and the most like real clothes (as opposed to a hacked up wetsuit). Definitely deserved the win! Neil's didn't look transformed enough.in the front (just that pink V on the bodice which, combined with the logos on the front, reminded me of an owl, and the lace skirt on the bottom), but the bare back and halter were interesting.

 

I hated the pink lace bib that Matt put on the front of his. It just looked like it was glued to the front. I think the skirt would have looked better if it had been a little shorter but that longer length looked odd. I didn't like Paul's. Those pink sleeves made it look like the mannequin was wearing a t-shirt under the wetsuit. I wasn't crazy about the skirt but I only saw it from a distance so maybe it looked better up close. When he chose his pink material and said that he wanted a thinner material to contrast with the neoprene, I could hear half the Project Runway designers saying, "I wanted to play with hard and soft."

 

Ha, Lorna's Madonna outfit was hilarious. I liked her idea in theory but gawd, those lace edged circles on the boobs looked like some weird handmade coaster that Morticia Addams would want you to use while drinking tea. I appreciate that she tried to go a little avant garde and sculptural with the neoprene but I didn't like the results.

 

Ooh, leather jackets! I was afraid everyone would make motorcycle jackets. Loved that they recycled Greased Lightning from the other week.

 

Lorna's looked simple in shape but unlike May, I hated the Kermit color. It's too bad about the zipper because she might have been a contender for garment of the week. Hee, I love her sense of humor though. I cracked up when she said her jacket was for the more mature lady.

 

Matt's looked a little bit sloppy to me. I'm not sure if that was because it was meant to be slouchy in the original jersey fabric pattern or if it was Matt's fit. Was it a requirement that the jackets had to be lined? I prefer leather to be lined for multiple reasons, but it never occurred to me that it's easier to get a leather jacket on and off if it's lined (as Patrick said).

 

I didn't like the collar of Neil's jacket. It was just a bit too rolled. I liked the magnet to hold it in place and I loved the bright lining. It's always fun to have a bright color inside a black jacket.

 

I know it's personal preference but I HATED Paul's shiny snakeskin fabric.It just looked so tacky and dated. The body of the jacket fit nicely but I agree that the sleeves were the problem. It was so stiff that sewing with cardboard seemed pretty accurate.

 

I was worried that the hip panels on Deborah's jacket might look weird or make the model appear larger in the hips but they ended up looking like mini peplums. I think the leather was a little too thin or soft because her jacket ended up looking a bit wrinkled. I was panicking when she pulled the zipper pull right off the top right before time was called. Very sweet to see Paul run over to help her. I was worried that the little mistakes with the paneling and the fact that it was unlined would be enough to send her home.

 

I would have preferred keeping Deborah over Matt. I know she hasn't been as consistent throughout the competition but I like her color and fabric choices. I wasn't surprised that Paul was also eliminated. Cute to see them exit the sewing room together dancing and with their arms around each other.

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Heck, I missed Ryan this week. It all seemed so tense. I so would have kept Deb over Matt as well, even tho he is a ginger prince and he wears the kind of windcheater usually favored by elementary school teachers! His jacket had less work in it than anyone else's. Agree about Paul's snakeskin - the sad thing is I've seen jackets like that and recently. Very impressed how he put that skirt together so quickly. I quite liked Neil's jacket, my Mom used to go for those kind of collars when I was young - she was having her Pat Benatar phase.

 

They seem to have compressed this season - don't like shedding 4 so quickly - why not have an extra two weeks of show? I feel I don't know them unlike the bake off. Thank g-d for Lorna, as her sense of humor keeps me interested.  I liked that Paul and Deb both have that love of craft and weren't too sad about leaving. The competitive army grunt is coming out in Matt and Neil, so I hope Lorna can emerge at the top.

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